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U.S. Representative Scott Tipton said, “We can get this economy moving again” at a town hall meeting in Pueblo Saturday. Tipton said that the Affordable Health Care Act of 2010 and unwanted federal regulations are crippling the U.S. economy and that one needed remedy is to make permanent the decade-old package of tax cuts that congress approved while George W. Bush was president. Currently, senate democrats have approved a plan to extend those tax cuts except for people who earn more than $200,000 a year, or $250,000 for a couple. House republicans have refused that and will be approving a full extension for all income categories next week. Tipton also said that republicans can do better on improving health care and that they will repeal the new law’s central requirement that everyone be required to purchase some kind of insurance. Tipton is continuing to campaign against federal regulation, saying the Dodd-Frank financial reform law that was aimed at reigning in Wall Street, is creating, “A bottleneck that is keeping us from prosperity”.

State Representative Sal Pace of Pueblo says that the answers to turning around the economy in the San Luis Valley already exist. Pace says it’s just a matter of getting the U.S. House of Representatives out of the way. Pace visited with business and economic leaders in the valley last week. Pace pointed to renewable energy, noting that wind-turbine maker Vestas has brought 1,000 jobs to Colorado, while new utility-scale solar farms in the valley provide 85 megawatts of electricity. Pace wants congress to invest in the country’s community colleges and universities to take advantage of that development. Pace said the U.S. could also make important investments in infrastructure that would help telecommuting jobs take off in rural regions. Pace said, “These are all solutions that democrats, republicans and independents in this community all agree on”.

Brandon Crowther, 26, a former Sanford resident, was found dead in his home in east Mesa, Arizona, last Tuesday, from alleged stab wounds to his neck. According to authorities, James David Kelly, 20, was arrested last Wednesday and is charged with one count of intentional second-degree murder. Kelly reportedly called 911 shortly after 4:30am saying that Crowther had killed himself. Mesa Fire Department personnel found Crowther in the living room with a stab wound and he was pronounced dead shortly before 5:15am. Kelly told authorities that he and his girl friend had been staying with Crowther for a few days because Crowther had been depressed and seemed like he wanted company. The home belongs to Crowther’s grandmother. Funeral arrangements are pending with Rogers Family Mortuary in Alamosa.

Three-time national champion distance runner at Adams State College and Olympian Pat Porter, 53, was killed last Thursday when his private plane went off a runway, hit a fence and went down a cliff in Sedona, Arizona. Porter was attempting to take off in his twin-engine plane Thursday morning when it went down. Porter, Porter’s 15-year-old son Connor and a friend of the boy’s were all on board the aircraft when it crashed. All three were killed. Porter won national titles in cross country at Adams State in 1980 and 1981 after transferring to the school from Metro State College in 1979. He also won the indoor two-mile title in 1982. Porter won a record 8 straight U.S. cross country championships from 1982 to 1989. He also qualified for the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, competing in the 10,000 meters. Porter was just inducted into the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Hall of Fame on Friday, July 20th. He told the gathering in Colorado Springs how blessed he had been to wear an Adams State uniform. Porter is survived by his wife, Trish, who was a 1988 Olympian in the high jump, and his 11-year-old daughter, Shannon.

The Gingerbread House Early Learning Center is Alamosa is taking applications for their Colorado Preschool Program with begins on September 4th. The program is free and is open to all eligible children that are at least 3 years old by June 1st of the current year. For more information, or to register, call 719-587-7162.